The latest flare-up on the Israel-Gaza border ‎appears to have calmed down dramatically since Thursday night, but everyone ‎knows it is far from over. Barring an extreme turn ‎of events, the next round of rocket fire on Israel’s ‎south is only a matter of time, as is Israel’s next military campaign in Gaza. ‎

The truce brokered by Egypt on Thursday is not an ‎official ceasefire. Hamas, via Cairo, announced it ‎was halting its rocket fire into Israel, prompting the Israel Defense Forces to halt its airstrikes, which is in line with Israel’s “calm will be ‎met with calm” policy. And so, as long as border ‎riots and arson terrorism incidents remain sporadic or absent, the tenuous ‎truce appears likely to hold. ‎

A deeper analysis of last week’s spike in border tension demonstrates that both ‎parties were again careful to play by the familiar ‎rules: Hamas made sure to target only border ‎vicinity communities in Israel—the Grad rocket fired deeper into Israel at ‎Beersheba was the work of Islamic Jihad—and the ‎IDF spared no effort to make sure its strikes on Gaza ‎terror targets resulted in minimal casualties, so as ‎not to give Hamas an excuse to escalate the ‎situation.‎

Ostensibly, this indicates that neither ‎party is interested in war, but there is no question ‎that last week’s events have brought Israel and ‎Hamas significantly closer to one.‎

This is more evident on the Israeli side, where the ‎public, media and government’s patience is wearing ‎exceedingly thin. It is getting harder and harder ‎for Israeli defense and government officials to explain why ‎the military must show restraint and refrain from making Hamas pay for ‎disrupting the lives of so many Israelis ‎living in border-adjacent communities.‎

Things are not as clear-cut in Gaza, but the ‎simmering Palestinian rage, too, is very close to ‎boiling over. The dire economic situation in Gaza ‎and the absence of any diplomatic, political or ‎economic horizon paint a bleak picture in which ‎Gazans have nothing to lose. When they reach that ‎point, Hamas will opt for war with Israel, mainly ‎for fear Gazans will turn against it.‎

The volatile dynamics on the border, Hamas’s ‎prolonged kite terrorism campaign and what seems ‎like the current futility of the cease-fire ‎negotiations, are sure to bring about another ‎massive flare-up sooner, rather than later. When ‎that happens, Egypt and the United Nations, which have so far ‎been acting as restraining factors, are likely to ‎find it difficult to prevent a rapid escalation.‎

Israel has no interest in fighting another war with ‎Hamas but as things stand, it would find it ‎difficult to expand its truce offer beyond the original ‎gestures of opening the Kerem Shalom border crossing, ‎extending the fishing zone off Gaza’s shores and ‎increasing the power supply to the coastal enclave.‎

Hamas, for its part, had demanded the construction ‎of air- and seaports for Gaza via Egypt’s Sinai ‎Peninsula and would likely be unsatisfied ‎with the “usual” offer. Moreover, with Palestinian ‎Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas overtly trying to ‎torpedo any attempt to cement a ceasefire, the chances ‎of reaching one are slim—making chances of an ‎escalation very high.‎

As far as Israel is concerned, if it must launch ‎another military campaign in Gaza it would prefer to ‎do it now, during the summer holiday, before the ‎High Holidays and when the Israelis living in Gaza-‎vicinity communities, especially the children, can ‎be evacuated without disrupting the school year. ‎This does not mean that Israel intends to launch a war tomorrow, but the next time Hamas attacks, ‎Israel may choose to use the opportunity to take ‎broader action in its favor.

Yoav Limor is a veteran Israeli journalist and columnist for Israel Hayom.